Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 9, 2013 01:16 PM
Move over, Angry Birds and Candy Crush. QuizUp, the iPhone-based trivia game, is breaking all the records and is now the fastest-growing mobile game in history.
Just three weeks old, it has amassed 3.5 million registered users, the millionth one signing up just eight days after launch. (It took Draw Something, 2012's darling, nine days to achieve such a feat.) The average QuizUp player plays for 40 minutes a day, enticed by more than 200,000 trivia questions spread out over nearly 300 categories.
The fast, multi-player game, is free to download but in-app purchases that allow users to 'level-up faster’ can cost anywhere from $1.99 to $5.99. Through a sync-up with a user's email or Facebook account, the app finds a global opponent and users are off to the races—answering seven multiple-choice questions in just over a minute.
The game’s simplicity is key—its intuitive interface follows a pub quiz night format similar to "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?," making it simple to learn for all experience levels.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 15, 2013 12:51 PM
It's no longer enough to just go for a run. Athletes and first-steppers alike are more data driven than ever, feeding off of fitness apps that tell them how many steps they've taken, their heart rate, calories burned and so on. After all, if it can be measured, it can be improved.
Following the runaway success of personal fitness trackers like Nike's FuelBand, main competitor Under Armour has announced that it has acquired MapMyFitness for about $150 million. It may not have cost UA too much, but the addition of the new technology will lift the company to a whole other level in the fitness business.
The one differentiator that will set UA apart (and perhaps above) competitors? MapMyFitness analyzes data from multiple mobile device brands and operating systems, unlike Nike's FuelBand, which works exclusively with Apple's iOS.Continue reading...
social media watch
Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 30, 2013 11:31 AM
After two years of a less-than-impressive existence, Google is shining some much needed light on Google+, announcing 18 new features including updates to Hangouts and new tools for photo-buffs. Most impressive though, was the fact that the site now claims over 540 million active users who upload 1.5 billion photos per week.
It’s the search giant’s latest move to compete with and differentiate its social network from the likes of Facebook, Twitter and others.
"We want to be more than just a lightweight sharing service. We want to be the archive of your life," said Bradley Horowitz, Google+ VP Product Management.
To that end, Video Hangouts now include SMS so users can share via text, supports animated GIFs, and offers a one-click geo-location feature that adds a user's location to a message using Google Maps. Video Hangouts now appear in full-screen HD and a new suite of creative tools lets users change and focus the view while chatting in black and white, or use "Spotlight" to make the speaker the primary focus.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 29, 2013 11:07 AM
Even Apple is becoming vulnerable to the things that afflict most other companies. Its profits and margins slid despite selling 33.8 million iPhones in its September quarter, and the tech icon signaled a more challenging than usual holiday selling season ahead as well as slower going in China.
Apple stock slid after CEO Tim Cook on Monday outlined what Reuters called "unremarkable quarterly numbers" that prompted some disappointed investors to cash in on the stock. Apple has slid overall by more than 10 percent in the last year as concerns have grown about everything from its current slate of new products—such as the two new iPhones and iPads—to what it might or might not have up its sleeve for the future.
The company's main products, the iPhone and iPad, have been under increasing competitive pressure from rivals including Samsung and Amazon that sell cheaper devices that run on versions of Google's widespread Android operating system, USA Today noted. Even Nokia is reporting record Lumia sales, while BlackBerry this week saw a renewed sense of hope after its free BBM messaging app netted over 20 million downloads in its first week. All of that "has Wall Street scouring Apple's quarterly results for any sign the company is dropping prices at the expense of profit margins."Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2013 07:14 PM
Since George Jetson and James Bond strapped theirs on, the world has been waiting for an actual smartwatch to come onto the market. Wait no more, as Samsung and now Sony have released their respective versions, with a reported entry from Apple on the way.
Last month, Samsung revealed its $300 Galaxy Gear smartwatch and now Sony has come out with its Android-compatible SmartWatch2 along with a new phablet and phone.
The watches first appeared—along with the Qualcomm’s Too—at Shanghai’s Mobile Asia Expo this past June, but now the $199.99 dust-proof, water-resistant device is on sale to the public. Sony's second iteration has a 220 x 176 pixel screen and three to four days of battery life.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on October 16, 2013 04:42 PM
Much like how Apple is starting to seem like a luxury brand nowadays, Nike is looking a lot more like a tech brand than a sports apparel icon. And it's all because of one device: the Nike+ FuelBand. And now Nike’s nifty wrist-worn activity monitor has got itself an upgrade in the form of the more capable (and colorful) SE.
On sale Nov. 6, one of the $149 FuelBand’s new features, "Win the Hour," keeps track of movement throughout the day and continually reminds those who wear it that they need to get up and move around soon or they won’t “win” that hour. The "Win the Hour feature came from insight we saw in our data," Jenny Campbell, senior director at Nike Fuel and consumer knowledge, said in a promotional YouTube video. "Less than 2 percent of our FuelBand users were actually moving enough throughout the day. We saw that as a huge opportunity to develop a feature that would motivate them to move more."Continue reading...
tech in the spotlight
Posted by Alicia Ciccone on September 30, 2013 11:12 AM
Coming off a record launch of its new iPhones, the 5s and the more affordable, plastic 5c, Apple has managed a triumphant return to the top of personal tech. And now the brand has been named the world's most valuable according to Interbrand's annual Best Global Brands report—passing brand behemoths Coca-Cola and Google.
Inspiring trends in mobile and influencing the lifestyles of millions, Apple, which saw its popularity dip amid the loss of brand visionary Steve Jobs, has managed to innovate among an increasingly competitive field, with Samsung, Google and Microsoft biting at its heels. But the brand that sold over nine million new iPhone models in its opening weekend has managed to maintain the cool, confident demeanor that defines its brand—an aura that has legions of fans scrambling for its latest products and services.
"The critics have told you Apple lost its magic,” said analyst Daniel Ernst of Hudson Square Research, according to Forbes. “Customers are telling you something very different. Clearly, people like the product. That sentiment is almost more important than the number.”Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 19, 2013 09:17 AM
Apple garners upbeat reviews for new iPhone and iOS 7.
BlackBerry slashes workforce by up to 40 percent.
Facebook gets First Amendment protection for “likes.”
Checkers prepares for IPO, report says.
Chili’s sees boost in checks from new table-top ordering system.
Chipotle gets more than 5 million views of Scarecrow documentary.
Dish Network wins legal victory over ABC in DVR fight.
Fisker Automotive sees its green loan from US headed for auction.Continue reading...